It is a strong bet that the justices will take the appeal when they return from their summer break. The Justice Department is right that firmly resolving the issue is of great importance to the country and to tens of thousands of gay people denied benefits like the right to file joint tax returns and to receive spousal Social Security payments. We hope the justices will review the cases and issue a strong ruling striking down this noxious law.
The Defense of Marriage Act also heaps particular inequities on married gay service members and their families. Under the law, same-sex spouses are denied benefits granted to other military spouses, including medical and dental insurance, treatment in military medical facilities, discounted housing and surviving spouse benefits. This policy is completely at odds with the military’s goal of building a culture of openness and equality following the demise of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”